A metal-free catalytic system consisting of an aldehyde and N-hydroxyphthalimide (NHPI) for the selective oxidation of tertiary alkylaromatics with molecular oxygen has been developed. Cumene was oxidized efficiently to the corresponding hydroperoxide under mild conditions. The molecule-induced homolysis between peracids generated in situ and NHPI ensured the formation of the phthalimide N-oxyl (PINO) radical even at room temperature. Investigations on aldehyde, solvent and temperature effects allowed us to achieve good conversions with high selectivity in hydroperoxide. The optimized procedure was successfully extended to phenylcyclohexane, a valuable alternative for the production of phenol. The mechanism is discussed in detail.